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SIPG claims it can overhaul Singapore this year

SIPG claims it can overhaul Singapore this year

Shanghai: One firm that clearly expects the world economy to pick up pretty soon is Shanghai International Port (Group). SIPG has had a tough start to the year with container throughput down 18% in the first two months year-on-year. Yet that hasn't stopped the powerful port operator from coming out with a bullish growth expectation for the full year, a statistic that  were it to become reality would see it surpass Singapore for the first time as the leading container port in the world. SIPG said yesterday it expects its container handling volume to reach 29m teu this year, according to Chen Xuyuan, president of the Shanghai-based port operator.
SIPG's container throughput reached 28m teu last year, representing a year-on-year increase of 7%. Its operating revenue and net profit rose to RMB 18.53 billion and RMB 4.62 billion in 2008, up 13.8% and 26.9% from a year ago respectively.
Sources at PSA Singapore expect throughput at the Lion Republic's premier operator to slump back to 2006 levels this year, down from 29m teu to 24m teu. With Jurong port unlikely to crack 1m teu this year, that would leave Singapore trailing Shanghai were President Chen's assumptions to prove correct.
Most analysts though are of a different opinion to SIPG. Had the global financial crisis not kicked in, then Shanghai would probably have overhauled Singapore this year based on the booming export scene around the Yangtze river delta. However, in today's altered circumstances it is Singapore with its high transhipment volumes over export dependent Shanghai that is likely to keep the container crown through to 2011 at least.
SIPG announced yesterday as part of a large cost cutting exercise it was postponing its first overseas investment in Belgium. [14/04/09]


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